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Rich Tehrani
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Consumer Electronics

ZipWhip: What if Every Phone Number Could Text?

November 12, 2013

Back in 2005, yes, 2005 I wondered when WiFi phones would allow text messaging – I suggested there was an opportunity for companies to take advantage of the merging of the VoIP and consumer electronics spaces. Of course eight years later the world is a different place. The iPhone was two years from being introduced back then, Blackberry was in the early days of becoming king of the smartphone market and Microsoft and Nokia were strong players. Now Apple and Google are dominant and the others mentioned above are scrambling.

Vertu Rolls Out "Affordable" Constellation

October 31, 2013

Titanium, sapphire and calfskin are what you need to make the most expensive phones in the world according to Vertu who should know as this is what they produce. Each phone is assembled by hand – there are no production lines and it takes about two hours per device. Each craftsman places their name on the inside of the phone and it is not uncommon for customers to come meet them in person. This by the way is not unlike what happens in the supercar world where the craftsman who makes engines for the Nissan GT-R will also place his name on the engine.

Jabra Sport Wireless+ Review

October 14, 2013

It’s truly amazing how many people still use “legacy” corded headphones when the bluetooth variety has gotten so good. Case in point is the new Jabra Sport Wireless+ headset. I was immediately familiar with this headset as it is the new version of the Jabra Sport Wireless headphones which I have used for at least 1,000 hours.

Does Microsoft Need to Fire Bill Gates?

October 2, 2013

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are synonymous with Microsoft’s management and for many years the duo did a fantastic job creating value for customers, shareholders and employees. While the company is far from in trouble, possessing huge amounts of cash and cash flow, it has flopped in many areas which they saw as important. Phones and tablets are a few of these spaces and you may want to add search in as well. Unfortunately these are the products of the future.

16 iOS 7 Changes to Know About

September 18, 2013

iOS 7 is a radical departure from the previous version of the OS – it is cooler and hipper and really makes your iOS device seem new. Then again, sometimes the familiar is best and change isn’t that good – especially when you are looking for something and don’t know where it went.

Speaking of which, here is a list of changes in iOS7 to know about.

  1. Downloading iOS 7 was perhaps the worst download experience some of you have ever faced. I downloaded it over 30 times on two devices before I could upgrade them.

Intel Making the 64-bit Apple A7?

September 16, 2013

With 64-bit chips now powering smartphones thanks to the new 1-billion transistor Apple A7 chip used in the iPhone 5s, the logical trend in the market is that smartphone chips will eventually be the processors we use in tablets, desktops and servers. This is not really news as we have seen the migration of processors based on ARM technology showing up across a broad spectrum of devices from handheld to server such as in the HP Moonshot System.

An important point of course is who is making the A7 chip for Apple? We know the relationship with Samsung isn’t going well thanks to a strong line of Android devices – the Galaxy gadgets made by the Korean company.

SPEECHPRO's Multifactor Biometric Engine Doubles Reliability

September 12, 2013



Now that Apple has decided to jump into the biometrics space with Touch ID, we can expect the idea of finger, face and speech recognition to gain more traction. When it comes to biometrics there are different approaches which companies can take to ensure only specific people have access to computers and information. In Apple’s case the company is looking to make it easier to keep your phone secure. The single finger touch is all that is required to get into many of secrets located on your phone.



The challenge is as I blogged yesterday – a sleeping person can inadvertently divulge all their secrets to other people without realizing it.





Whoops: There is an iPhone 5s Fingerprint Hack

September 12, 2013

Biometric technology is amazing because when it is working perfectly it really is one of the best ways to ensure an individual's identity is verified. I can't guess your fingerprint for example. Sure, I can try to mimic it like you have seen in the movies but generally this isn't very practical.

An easier way to hack your fingerprint however is shown below - Redditor iZeeHunter posted the image Wednesday, along with the caption: "The new iPhone 5S provides unmatched security with its new Fingerprint lock, which makes your personal data even harder to reach!"



Whether this photo hurts Apple or not remains to be seen but a way around such a "hack" is to use multifactor authentication such as finger and voice or finger and password. Of course this would add increased levels of complexity - something Apple tried to reduce in the first place.





GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

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